World of Disney Renovations Progress Update


As you probably already know, the World of Disney stores at both Disney Springs in Orlando and Downtown Disney District in Anaheim have been undergoing extended renovation that started in February of this year.

One of the AllEars® team was wandering around the Disney Springs Marketplace the other evening and captured a few photos of this work-in-progress, so we thought we’d share and get your thoughts.




As you can see, the outside of the building is still covered and some of the entrances are still blocked off. Even so, parts of this iconic shop — the world’s largest Disney store, in fact — are still open for business selling souvenirs, apparel, home decor and much more.


On the inside, though, lots of changes have been made, and the store is sporting a brighter, much more contemporary look that is in keeping with the other recently re-imagined areas found around Disney Springs.


Just to refresh your memory in case it’s been a while since you visited, this is the sort of thing you used to see in World of Disney:

world of disney


world of disney

world of disney

Lots of bright, colorful characters were scattered around the store, evoking memories of a wide variety of Disney animated classics. From what we can see here so far, they seem to have been set aside in favor of this brick and wood architecture with clean, less-cluttered lines.

No official end date has been announced for this renovation project, but we’ll be sure to bring you news on any re-opening celebrations that are sure to be forthcoming.

So… let us know. Which version of the World of Disney do you prefer? Are there any elements of the old look that would you like to see stay, or would you rather shop in this updated environment?

Debra Martin Koma wrote about food, travel and lifestyle issues for a number of local and national publications before she fell in love with Walt Disney World on her first visit — when she was 34! She's returned to her Laughing Place more times than she can count in the ensuing years, and enthusiastically shares her passion with readers of AllEars.Net and AllEars®. Deb also co-authored (along with Deb Wills) PassPorter's Open Mouse for Walt Disney World and the Disney Cruise Line, a travel guide designed for all travelers to Walt Disney World who may require special attention, from special diets to mobility issues.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

16 Replies to “World of Disney Renovations Progress Update”

  1. I have been an allears reader FOREVER and as a part of my reading I routinely check the comments…this thread is the craziest I have ever read! I know that many many people associate their vacation with a trip to Disney Springs but come on people! This project is not done and when it is there will be Disney magic to be found- a refurb was long overdue for world of Disney and in the same way that (most of us) found a way to be okay with the closing of Adventurers Club and the name changing from Downtown Disney (or even Disney Village Marketplace!!) I know you will figure it out once again!

  2. We know it is not done, but it would appear there is more charm and character at the airport stores than at Disney Springs. Bland/Vanilla is the new Disney theme EVERYWHERE…when we are in our DVC resort room, if I cannot see out the window, I could be anywhere…A motel in Jersey seems possible.

    We are thankful when our sons were still kids, the style and charm were present all around us. We are finding less and less “aaahhh…” moments everywhere. A minor example – take away Starring Rolls (was a favorite respite for us) and put in 37 Starbucks. Nothing says DISNEY like a Starbucks…let us go down the street from our house right now and immerse!

    How long before chain restaurants become the park fare? Rip that Crystal Palace out, good spot for a DQ… go to Be Our Guest? Replace that with a Friendly’s…no need to greeted by a beast. Just a helpful server in uniform asking if we’d like fries with that. And the GRAY STUFF will NOT be intentional.

    We envisioned as we retired, to be spending many weeks each year soaking it up without any cares…Soon, if the progression is not halted, we will stop putting all the exec’s grandchildren thru college on our own, and maybe find a nice house on a lake here in NH instead. Never thought we’d ever consider it. But Disney is making changes that are making us change as well.

  3. On our last family trip to the World in May we all commented how we hoped the renovations would NOT look like the generic, bland, outlet mall look like the new part of Disney Springs. We go to WDW to get away from that. I can’t say how disappointed I am with this. We always looked forward to the day we would spend there, now not so much.
    I often wonder what Walt, Roy and all the others who made this happen would think now. Some changes and updates will always have to be made. But it’s getting too far away from the characters, fantasy and magic we all grew up with. Mt first trip was in February 1972 and have had over 50 family trips there since. At least we still have the Emporium.

    DEBK Replies: Well, they aren’t done yet, so I think there may yet be some additions that will add to the magic of the store. Stay tuned!

  4. The evolutionary destruction of Disney has been most notable at the Disney resort hotels where “generic” applies to most if not all general merchandising sold at the resorts.
    Reminds me of those Cracker Barrels restaurants we visit along the way down to Disney. Every piece of merchandise is located in the same exact location at each and every store. The personality(theme) of the reconstructed Disney resort stores has changed our approach with visiting individual resort hotels, basically, one visit fits all…the thrill is gone.

  5. So sad, they took the “MAGIC” away. Now it’s just another store like the rest of Downtown Disney. Changed the name and made it a shopping mall. Shame on Disney!!!!!!

  6. It is so sad. I’m ok with change. Change can be good. But to takeaway the magic is just going too far. The store was so much more inviting and just gave you that happy feeling every time you entered. Now it’s just another generic store. My family and I would look forward to going to World of Disney every year. We would even save it for last! Just to take that magic home with us. I just don’t understand why they would want to do this. I think they will realize they went in the wrong direction this time. Hopefully they will and they’ll bring the magic back!

    DEBK REPLIES: Well, don’t despair! The work isn’t done yet, and you never know what Disney may have up its sleeves!

  7. No! Why are they taking all of the fun, wonder and magic out o of it. We, all adults, loved looking up at the ceiling and seeing the characters that made shopping here so unique! We always took photos on every trip when we shipped there. We may reconsider where we shop now.

    DEBK REPLIES: I agree that it looks bland at the moment, but I realize that they aren’t finished yet. There may be some finishing touches to come that will bring the magic back! Stay tuned!

  8. I’ve been in the store since they started making changes and it seems so much more cramped and crowded to me. I definitely miss the old layout and the characters. I think they are going to find that this outlet feel is going to discourage shoppers. I know it did for me. It didn’t feel like the merchandise was special anymore. An overall generic feel and the rooms didn’t flow together in the same way as it once did. I actually thought to myself, “that’s it?” It seemed so much smaller.

    DEBK REPLIES: Dana, the store may have seemed cramped because parts of it are still shut off and under construction. I think we need to wait and see what the finished store looks like.

  9. I used to be a dedicated Disney fan, but they are slowly ruining it for me. First with Test Track from an exciting theme to boring neon lights…i’m curious if anyone that has seizures when they come into contact with neon lights have any problems with that ride.

    Now, it’s my favorite store! Oh No! BORING. Disney is trying to go “professional” rather than keeping the “fun” and whimsical theme to it. BORING…

  10. I dont believe Walt would ever approve of this new lackluster design void of his beloved characters and whimsy that once existed in this magical store and therefore neither do I. His vision is slowly disappearing. Sad.

  11. Too many things (including the Disney store) are becoming too generic & homogenized. For a company that prides itself on theming, they’re dropping the ball I agree that the old store was much more magical & fun. I doubt that we will spend much time there in the future & just go to the Springs for the restaurants.
    What a shame!

  12. The old look was the best. I will miss showing my 5 year old grandson on his first WDW trip all the fun characters he would have seen.

  13. I love the old look. We see sleek looking mall areas everywhere else and the characters add to the joy of our trip. When we were there last we commented to each other that we liked that side of Disney Spring’s because of the store and surroundings. Now we may not spend as much time there because of the change. My family loves the magic, the characters add to shopping. I love looking at them and so do my children. Change is great, but please don’t change everything.

  14. We visited World of Disney in WDW last week, and the new theming is… really, really… REALLY boring. It took a whimsical, fun, entertaining store and turned it into a… (have I used the work BORING yet) boring, generic retail outlet. Can you tell I’m disappointed?